The Michigan Education Association has been quietly holding votes on a resolution to authorize a series of job actions including informational picketing, contacting representatives and a state-wide work stoppage, according to mlive.com. Naked Empire reports that MEA President Iris Salters sent out a letter requesting locals to delay major purchases and to start saving enough to have reserves for at least two months. The resolution is in response to funding cuts of $715 per student and the financial martial law bill that would allow the governor to shred teacher contracts and place districts under the control of CEOs.
Teacher strikes are illegal under Michigan law. Public Act 112, enacted in 1994, stipulates that teachers be fined a day’s pay for each day they refuse to work. However, state representative Paul Scott has introduced additional legislation that would fine the union if it were to go on strike and potentially strip teachers of their credentials. The latter, of course, is a moronic threat since, if it were carried out, Michigan would have virtually no qualified teachers left. Nevertheless, Michigan Radio reports that House Bill 4465 would suspend teachers’ credentials for two years or permanently revoke their credentials if caught striking. House Bill 4466 would raise the fine to $5,000 per day for each day they refuse to work.
As usual, politicians and business leaders are livid that the union would consider thumbing its nose at their stupid no-strike law and are crying about how much a work stoppage would harm Michigan’s children. Some bloggers and pundits are even calling them thugs, as if they were physically assaulting kids and families. Yet it is apparently quite harmless to kids when they cut school funding by hundreds of dollars per student and strip schools of sufficient funding for nurses, librarians, counselors and small class sizes.